ICL: Indian Cricket League


Strauss wants England to keep foot on the gas

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The England cricket team captain Andrew Strauss will warn his team not to lose their cutting edge in the third Test against Pakistan after their crushing innings-an 120-run victory at Old Trafford.

“I’m always wary of games after good wins,” Strauss told a news conference at Headingley on Thursday on the eve of the match. “Psychologically, it’s easy to take your foot off the gas. It’s a question of us sticking to the basics in practice to make sure we don’t get lax. It’s something I have to highlight to the guys,” he told.

“There are guys who are confident and in form and we must not let that slip. We’ve got to make that pay. When you are in form you need to get hundreds or a five-for with the ball. The important thing is that we use the game last week as a launchpad to play even better cricket,” he remarked.

England lead the four-match series 1-0. A win at Headingley will give them their first home series success over Pakistan since 1982. England’s last visit to the Yorkshire ground a month ago, however, saw them humiliated by Sri Lanka, who completed a 5-0 one-day series whitewash as their openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga posted a world-record stand of 286.

“That was a pretty bleak day but I think we take a lot of heart from what happened during the second Test,” Strauss added.

“All departments of our game were functioning pretty well, which was encouraging, and to win without Fred (injured all-rounder Andrew Flintoff) was pretty important as well,” he expressed.

“He’s a very influential player both on and off the pitch but it was important that other guys stood up and took over that mantle. Our batting unit has functioned pretty well all summer. The likes of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell coming in and getting hundreds has given our batting a very solid feel,” he told. Cook, aged 21, and Bell, aged 24, have both scored two centuries in successive matches against Pakistan.

Strauss said he was not surprised by Cook’s success in scoring three hundreds in seven Tests. “I saw how he played on his debut and that said a lot about the guy.

He obviously likes the big stage. He’s temperamentally very good. He’s got an old head on young shoulders,” remarked Strauss.

Strauss said the Headingley wicket did not look green and would probably be good to bat on, although he expected overhead conditions to help the bowlers.

He said he had discussed the pitch with injured England captain Michael Vaughan, who plays for Yorkshire.

Strauss also said that Monty Panesar, who took five wickets in the second innings at Old Trafford, should not be discounted despite the failure of English spinners at Headingley over recent years.

“One thing Monty has shown in his short career is that he has the ability to keep batsmen quiet in a supportive role for the seamers and if he does that here there is no reason why he can’t pick up a few wickets. It’s a second string to his bow which he has done pretty well so far,” he added.
Source:The News

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